Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Cuill and Scour

This fortnight's highlights were the 2 new search engines - cuill.com and scour.com

cuill.com is supposed to be Google's nemesis to be, started by an ex employee, and "not-for-sale".

Positives
- The Search Results Layout : What a Layout! Easy to read, easy to search and in general, way better than the generic word for net search - google.
- Search Speed - Almost as fast as google.

Negatives
Oh, everything else. The search results were not relevant and in general, it took a long time to find what we wanted. Not one for utility. Not yet at any rate.

Scour.com is unique in another way. It supposedly gives u loyaly points every time u use the engine and then the loyalty points are converted to money - hard cash. Another first.
Also, scour.com depends on network marketing(one more time). If u introduce ppl, u get 1/4th of their points - just like that. (These points are also converted to hard cash)

Positives
- You see search results from yahoo, google and msn, complete with how high up this link appears on each engine (double somersault of glee)
- You can vote for relevant and irrelevant links and even post comments. You get points for this participation. Net net, its like collecting your opinion overtly, unlike google that picks up usage and click statistics and does not pay you for that information.

Negatives
- You need to sign in each time if you want points(unless u leave the cookies undeleted)
- Oh, the speed, the speed, the speed! Just the home page takes forever to load! And then one has to sign in and then search! Not happening.
- The toolbar functions in a way that is best described as "Dissapointing"

Have u tried these? What do u think?

Monday, July 28, 2008

One mention and a website.

I was just wondering what to write next, when 2 wonderful things happened..

1. This website came along. Its one of the most brilliant things i have seen in a long time, and is sooo sorely needed. The best part is the visuals. Bright and high contrast without being flashy and destructive to the eye.

2. This blogger liked Esha - here. Makes my day!! More on this on the Esha blog.

Simple things that make up a life. Moments all, but not all fleeting.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The final Logic Puzzle- The Case of the Four Busy couples

This one, I have been told, takes longer and needs a pen and pencil. :-)
Tell me what u think.

1. This case has 4 couples. All husbands have different professions. All wives also belong to different professions. No one is unemployed.
2. No 2 people of the same profession are married to each other.
3. P,B and C go to the same work place – the W Multi Speciality Hospital.
4. D and R have creative professions.
5. A is married to his doctor sweetheart, whose best friend is S, the teacher.
6. P does not like B who, in spite of sharing her profession, does not share her ethics.
7. Since the singer ( R ) and the engineer (Q) had a fight over the latter’s car park, R does not speak to Q or her husband B.
8. The dentist was lucky to find a job at the multi speciality hospital, all thanks to his best friend B.
9. While R is universally acknowledged as the most graceful young lady in the group, the best looking male is usually acknowledged to be S’s husband, D.
10. There are 2 engineers, but only one painter in the group.

What is each one’s profession, and who is married to whom?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Logic Puzzle 2 - Aunt Maurice’s Gifts

Aunt Maurice got 7 balls for the 7 children of her brother. But she made one BIG mistake. She got 7 different colors. Now each child wants a color of his choice. Check if Maurice has balls enough to meet everyone’s choice.

1. Asha does not want a blue ball or a white ball.
2. Chandru MUST have only his purple ball or the blue ball. He likes the purple ball better though.
3. Fanny quite fancies the purple and hates the red, green, blue, white, violet.
4. Bela is a good dancer and wants to be rewarded with a green ball. That is final.
5. The yellow ball is for Donna.
6. Esha will take anything that no one else wants, but Guddu wants either red or violet.

Question: Can everyone’s needs be met?

If no, please stop here.. If yes, here is your final clue:
Finally, Asha chooses the red ball.
Now, complete the list of which child got what.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Logic Puzzle - The Parker Children

I have always wanted to create the kind of Logic puzzles that one enjoys doing so much. Here is the first set that i have ever been able to finish. This one is a very simple puzzle. Tell me if you liked it. If you have never done logic puzzles, this is an excellent starting point too. Finish the puzzle and then post your answer in the comments.

The Parker Children

4 children were born to May and Julie Parker. Both May and Julie died together last week, and the children are here for the funeral(and the will). The will has some curious clause. It says the eldest gets 40% of the estate, the next born 30% of the estate and so on. Each child now claims to be the first born.

Only some old women from the village will remember, but their memory is less than perfect, so they sit down to exchange notes.

1. The first born was a girl. How Julie used to fuss over her “My Baby! My Doll! My Norma!”
2. Oh no, she came later. Norma was after Janice. I’m sure of that.
3. Clay was before Treo, but after Janice.
4. Janice was elder to Treo for sure.
5. And Norma was also elder to Treo.
6. Clay was built smaller than Norma.
If you answer all the following questions now, you can get a bonus of 10 points:
· Who was the first born?
· Who was the second?
· Who was the third?
· Who came first – Norma or Clay?
· Who is the youngest?

OK, it is not possible to answer 3 of these questions – yet. So the old women sit down again and one of them suddenly exclaims:
“Oh, I remember now. Norma was 2 years old at the time of the bull fight. She was the youngest of the Parker children, and clung to all 4 other Parkers by turns.”

What is the order of the children?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Here is the whole long story - Brahma's joke.

Notes: Brahma: Indian God of Creation. Bhagwan: Lord.

One day, Brahma was sitting, ROTFL, and could hardly hold his sides up. An angel happened to pass by and asked “bhagwan! What seems to be the matter?”

Brahma, laughing through his tears and still unable to hold his laughter, said “Wait till u hear this.”

“One day, a species of monkeys devised a way by which they could gather food faster. This would save them time and effort and give them more food for every hour that they worked.”

“Oh splendid. They must have been intelligent monkeys.”

Brahma (still clutching his sides) “No, no wait till u hear the whole thing.”

“Then, they did the same thing with their hunting – they made tools that will help them slay better, bigger, faster, and they got organized as hunters.”

“Oh good. All this must have given them a lot of time to spend on things they like to do, and to spend time with their children.”

“No, next came the need to do something about the cold. They made the fire, and they made clothes. Clothes would keep them warm in winters.”

“But Bhagwan! All other animals are provided with skins that perform this function effectively. Why did you deprive only this species of a skin that saves them from winters?”

“Oh they had a skin all right, they just wanted to be more comfortable than that.”

“Aaah. More comfortable with a foreign element on our bodies all the time?”

Nodding in the affirmative, Brahma continued to laugh and speak in between “After a while, they forgot the comfort of living in their skin alone. Even in hot summers, they would wear this fake skin. “

The angel was silent this time.

They used to make sounds in a particular way that sounded better than normal talking. They also used to make rhythmic sounds on things like rocks and leaves.”

“Why would they do that?”

“For enjoyment. But that’s not the point. As soon as they had some time on their hands, they decided that the rhythmic sound from the mouth and from the leaves needed to be learnt, studied, and it became a job to learn what they now called Music. They would move their bodies rhythmically to this “music” – they called this natural movement “Dance” and some people’s job became to learn this music and dance.”

“You mean they made a job of something that was enjoyment to start with!?” The angel was smiling now. “Why?”

“Oh, they thought it would be better that way. What resulted was that only a few of the monkeys could understand the new, difficult compositions, and what should have been for enjoyment became studies and learning.”

The angel had started to laugh a little. “And then what happened Bhagwan?”

They used to have stories to tell to each other and to their children. They realized that they must preserve the stories, so learning the stories became another job”

“Why couldn’t they just think up new stories with time?”

“Don’t ask. I have no clue, they just wanted to carry their past with them.”

“So, instead of enjoying the stories, they made work of them?”

“Yes. But wait, it gets even better. After this, they came up with more time saving devices – made of metal and much easier to handle and faster to work with.”

“Finally, they were actually saving time to enjoy themselves!”

“There my man, you forget that the making of these implements became another job, their maintenance, their oiling, and shining…some people specialized only in this”

“Groan!”

“Then there was jewelry. Men and women wanted to adorn themselves with shining pieces of metal, shell etc to look better”

“To look better? What can look better than glowing skin and a healthy body?”

“Apparently, shells and metal. To take our story further…”

“Wait Bhagwan, let me guess.. the making and maintenance of these pieces is another job created by the monkeys, right?”

“You are getting intelligent, my dear. Things went on like this till they became too many monkeys to hold in individual groups, and they make social institutions.”

“What is a social institution?”
“Oh, for example, you take a female of the species and you promise to take care of her for her whole life while she bears your children and cooks and keeps home. That is called marriage. The starting of this union is celebrated..”

“Groan… more work created! Why did these monkeys not just go out and enjoy?”

“Angel, do you want to hear more?”

“Tell me….”

“Earlier, fathers used to come home in the evening, before sun down, and spend time with the children… then, they created offices”

“Lord, what are offices?”

“Offices are places where fathers have to stay until after sun down so they hardly get any time with their wives and children. To compensate, the monkeys decided that the offices should remain closed for one day in the week.”

“Bhagwan, now you are telling me that in the pursuit of creating time saving devices, they actually created more work, and so much work that even their basics like spending time with each other were compromised?”

“Oh, it gets better. They wanted to get more organized. They wanted to do things faster, so they created computers.”

“And?”

“Now, they have less time than they ever had, they have no time to eat, no time to drink, they breathe poisonous air, and die earlier than ever, of diseases created by them.. and they are still trying to do better…”

“Lord, what you are telling me is, that this is a species of monkeys that thinks it wants to create leisure, but has actually been working hard to create more work for centuries on end? What is so funny about that?”

“I’m just wondering.. how long before They figure this out?”

Monday, July 14, 2008

What was Brahma's joke? - Part I

One day, Brahma was sitting, ROTFL, and could hardly hold his sides up. An angel happened to pass by and asked “Bhagwan! What seems to be the matter?”

Brahma, laughing through his tears and still unable to hold his laughter, said “Wait till u hear this.”

“One day, a species of monkeys devised a way by which they could gather food faster. This would save them time and effort and give them more food for every hour that they worked.”

“Oh splendid. They must have been intelligent monkeys.”

Brahma (still clutching his sides) “No, no wait till u hear the whole thing.”

“Then, they did the same thing with their hunting – they made tools that will help them slay better, bigger, faster, and they got organized as hunters.”

“Oh good. All this must have given them a lot of time to spend on things they like to do, and to spend time with their children.”

“No, next came the need to do something about the cold. They made the fire, and they made clothes. Clothes would keep them warm in winters.”

“But Bhagwan! All other animals are provided with skins that perform this function effectively. Why did you deprive only this species of a skin that saves them from winters?”

“Oh they had a skin all right, they just wanted to be more comfortable than that.”

“Aaah. More comfortable with a foreign element on our bodies all the time?”
Nodding in the affirmative, Brahma continued to laugh and speak in between “After a while, they forgot the comfort of living in their skin alone. Even in hot summers, they would wear this fake skin.

Want to read more? Comment and let me know.. the more comments, the faster the next part comes up (think hours, not days) (yeah, i m mean)... :-)

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Bulle Shah

माटी किदम करेन्दी यार
वाह वाह माटी दी गुलज़ार!

माटी घोडा , माटी जोडा,
माटी दा असवार,
माटी माटी नु दौडान्दी
माटी दा खडकार

माटी माटी नु मारण लग्गी,
माटी दे हथियार
जिस माटी पर बहुती माटी,
सो माटी हंकार!

माटी बाग़ बगीचां माटी,
माटी दी गुलज़ार
माटी माटी नु देखन आयी,
माटी दी ए बहार!

हंस खेड फिर माटी होवे,
सौन्दी पांव पसार,
बुल्ला ए बुझारत बुझे
तां लाह सिरों भुइं मार
************
माटी उछल कूद करती है, देखो माटी की रौनक!
माटी का घोडा, माटी का झोला, और उस पर माटी का ही सवार
माटी माटी को दौडाती, माटी के कोडे से.

माटी माटी को मारे, माटी के हथियारों से.

जिस पर ज़्यादा मिट्टी(चर्बी) चड जाती है, उसे अहंकार हो जाता है.

माटी का बाग़ बगीचा, माटी का सारा सौन्दर्य!
और इस माटी के सौन्दर्य को देख्नने, माटी के बने लोग आते हैं – क्या बात है!

हंस खेल कर हम सब को फिर माटी में ही मिल जाना है,
और मर कर पांव पसार कर माटी सोती है..
बुल्ला, ये पहेली बूझ ली, तो सारा बोझ सिर से उतार कर ज़मीन पर फेंक दोगे..

This is a Sufi rendition that talks about the "Dust to Dust, Earth to Earth concept. How everything is so temporary and perishable, yet we hold it dear... Also, the element of "Advaita" - there is no Other, everything is the same, also comes out in this beautiful poem.
THere is a translation, but its crude. It is intended more to guide you to the meaning than to explain the meaning of this verse..

Translation:
It is Earth that jumps so well, see the magic that it creates!
An earthern horse, with an earthern saddle, ridden by a rider made of earth.
Earth rides the earth, with an earthern whip to boot.

Earth kills earth, with weapons made of earth. One more loaded with earth becomes proud of his wealth. (in effect, it is just earth that he has accumulated)

It is the same element that makes up the lovely garden, and the same element that comes to savor its beauty… Imagine!

We laugh and dance, only to return, Dust to Dust, Earth to Earth.. and the dust will sleep well six feet under.
If you understand this Bulla, you will put away the burden that you carry on your shoulders, and be the lighter for it.
This tag comes from Manpreet, and honestly, is not a good read.

I'm: who knows?
I think: more than is necessary.
I know: nothing.
I want: Deliverance.
I have: a lot more than I deserve.
I wish: sab kuchh khuda se maang liya tujh ko maang kar, Uthate nahi hain haath mere, is duaa ke baad.
I hate: on a good day, nothing. On a bad day, everything.
I miss: time with my mother, old friends, and nights under the moon on a hostel terrace.
I fear: ghosts!!
I feel: a lot more than one can afford, a lot less than one wants.
I hear: my current fave songs – Show Me Your Jalwa from Aaja Nach le.. such a wonderful song to draw mothers out!
I smell: good coffee..
I crave: CHOCOLATE!
I search: google, always google.
I wonder: where the sense of wonder went…
I regret: not being kinder, not enjoying attention when it was being paid, being as direct as I have been.
I love: on a good day, everything. On a bad day, just Ishaan.
I ache: aaah!!
I care: for the trees. And I worry for them.
I am not: Since I don’t know what I am, pointless to think of what I m not. If I am at all…
I believe: in God.
I dance: only the Gidda.
I sing: for Ishaan. All the time.
I cry: easily with movies.
I don’t always: think before I speak. (like just now)
I fight: more than there is time for in the world.
I write: absolute complete nonsense.
I win: God, I don’t win bets. And used to win hearts.
I lose: easily and well.
I never: play unfair. No matter how big or small the game.
I always: pray at least once a day.
I confuse: ALWAYS names and faces.
I listen: to the small still inner voice.
I can usually be found: with Ishaan.
I am scared: of ghosts.
I need: food, water, clothing, shelter and peace.
I am happy about: Lots of things.

Please do take up the tag if you fancy it.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Happy Women's Day


This is the Email that I sent out on Women's Day. :-) Storing it for posterity. Laugh Away!

Women still remember the first kiss after men have forgotten the last.- Remy de Gourmant (French writer)

A man loses his sense of direction after four drinks; a woman loses hers after four kisses.- H.L. Mencken (American writer, 1888-1956)
Why get married and make one man miserable when I can stay single and make thousands miserable?- Carrie Snow

I'm not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know I'm not dumb…and I also know that I'm not blonde.- Dolly Parton

You see a lot of smart guys with dumb women, but you hardly ever see a smart woman with a dumb guy.- Erica Jong
I've been on so many blind dates, I should get a free dog.- Wendy Liebman
Never lend your car to anyone to whom you have given birth.- Erma Bombeck
If high heels were so wonderful, men would be wearing them.- Sue Grafton
I think-therefore I'm single.- Lizz Winstead
When women are depressed they either eat or go shopping. Men invade another country.- Elayne Boosler
Behind every successful man is a surprised woman.- Maryon Pearson

In politics, if you want anything said, ask a man; if you want anything done, ask a woman.- Margaret Thatcher


I have yet to hear a man ask for advice on how to combine marriage and a career.- Gloria Steinem

If men can run the world, why can't they stop wearing neckties? How intelligent is it to start the day by tying a little noose around your neck?- Linda Ellerbee

"Bigamy is having one wife too many. Monogamy is the same."- Oscar Wilde

"Insurance is like marriage. You pay, pay, pay, and you never get anything back."- Al Bundy

"I recently read that love is entirely a matter of chemistry. That must be why my wife treats me like toxic waste."- David Bissonette

"If variety is the spice of life, marriage is the big can of leftover Spam."- Johnny Carson

"If you are afraid of loneliness, don't marry."- Chekhov

"Maybe this world is another planet's Hell."- Aldous Huxley
"Sex alleviates tension. Love causes it."- Woody Allen
"Sex is hereditary. If your parents never had it, chances are you wont either."- Joseph Fischer
"Sex is not the answer. Sex is the question. "Yes" is the answer."- Swami X
"The right half of the brain controls the left half of the body. This means that only left handed people are in their right mind."- Anonymous

"We spend the first twelve months of our children's lives teaching them to walk and talk and the next twelve telling them to sit down and shut up."- Phyllis Diller


"I'm an excellent housekeeper. Every time I get a divorce, I keep the house."-Zsa Zsa Gabor
"The only thing worse than a man you can't control is a man you can."- Margo Kaufman
"I don't worry about terrorism. I was married for two years."- Sam Kinison
"I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury."- Groucho Marxv
"Eighty percent of married men cheat in America. The rest cheat in Europe."- Jackie Mason
"When you see what some girls marry, you realize how they must hate to work for a living."- Helen Rowland
"Whenever I date a guy, I think, is this the man I want my children to spend their weekends with?"- Rita Rudner
"We had a lot in common. I loved him and he loved him."- Shelley Winters
"I'm not into working out. My philosophy: No pain, no pain."- Carol Leifer
"A hotel is a place that keeps the manufacturers of 25-watt bulbs in business."- Shelley Berman
"I have six locks on my door all in a row. When I go out, I lock every other one. I figure no matter how long somebody stands there picking the locks, they are always locking three."- Elayne Boosler